They should have just informed you that the film was being sponsored by the biscuit company. Anything would be better than naming Rekha `Mrs Britannia'. In fact, Mother has so much in-film advertising that you begin to wonder whether Saawan Kumar required any more finance.
The movie is set in Mauritius, and strain yourself to find one Mauritian in the country. Well, it is 19 years since Rekha was forced into a couple of one-night stands with three Indians to pay for her father's treatment. All to no avail. Not only did the sick man die, but Rekha was saddled with a daughter from her dangerous liaisons. Now her three former lovers, Rakesh Roshan, Randhir Kapoor and Jeetendra, are back in the country on a business-cum-pleasure trip. Their wives seem to be natives of Mauritius, the way they go about organising annual Great Mother awards. It is strange how each film makes you think things couldn't get worse.
Well, the daughter has an undying curiosity to know about her `dead' father, who, she has beentold, was a sort of lifeguard who saved a shipload of Indians from drowning when their vessel capsized. Rekha has nurtured the secret of her unwed motherhood all along, but when the crunch situation comes, she becomes careless. And instead of burying the past, her paramours are willing to move heaven and earth to know which of them is the child's father. But because the film tries to fit into the comedy genre, all's well that ends well.
Still, there can be no denying that Mother has its moments. The instance when Rakesh Roshan, Randhir and Jeetendra land up to meet their old flame at the same hour is fairly engaging. As are the scenes featuring the foolishly sentimental wives of the trio.
Composers Dilip Sen-Samir Sen and lyricist Sameer ensure that the music fails miserably. Nearly two-thirds of Altaf Raja's number has been rewritten, so you see him verbalise something totally different from what plays on the sound track. The title song, Dear Mother, is laughable.
Oddly enough, none of the performancesin Mother can save the film. Rakesh Roshan plays the perfect two-timer, while Randhir Kapoor even does a spirited jig without any awkwardness. Nishigandha Wad as his wife, and Shashikala, do justice to any role anyway. Saawan Kumar's latest discovery, Sanober Kabir, looks eager to please. But the performer of the film is Rekha, who gets an opportunity to show off her flair for comedy and pathos, if not her common sense.
Copyright © 1999 Indian Express Newspapers (Bombay) Ltd.